ACEDC December Newsletter



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News, events, & resources for our business community
In This Issue
Spotlight on the Vermont Training Program
Quick Links



How can you get people more engaged,
more productive, and happier at work?  REIMAGINE WORK (video)!



 from Harvard Business Review

Want to be aSuperachiever? 
Patrick Thean's Blog 

Some blogs & newsletters we recommend:
5. Your recommendation: which blogs/newsletters do you recommend to other business leaders? Let us know, & we'll share your suggestions.



Join us on Wednesday, Jan. 8th at the Ilsley Public Library for An introduction to Cloud Computing; how it can benefit any size business, and how this technology can be used to bolster your online presence, protect sensitive documents and increase office productivity. It's the 4th of our "Strengthening Your Business"workshop series, presented in partnership with Vermont Small Business Development Center.




Check our web site for more Events to help you and your business.




Learn More & Keep Up-to-date
As always, be sure to check our web site for additional Member NewsProperty listingsJobs, and for news and events from theAddison County business community.


Dear ACEDC Members and Friends,


          The end of the year is always a good time to begin thinking about the next. Many business owners engage in annual planning reviews to jump start the New Year. One of my favorite blogs - Gazelles Systems (see sidebar for link) - has recently had some useful information to help you get started. In their article,

Create a Killer Plan for the New Year, they help you plan your planning session, establish a focus for the year, and determine your three key initiatives so you can accomplish your goals. They even offer a free annual planning guide!Here's a link.  

          If you want to try a simple but powerful exercise as part of your planning session, read Annual Planning...with Feeling!
The activity, writing a postcard from a year out looking back, is a great way to open up creative ideas and lead to exciting new initiatives that a basic planning session might not uncover.          
          As we look ahead to 2014, I wish you all a prosperous New Year and the heart and mind to accomplish your goals.


All the best,


Create a Business
Lenders You Might Not Know About

Do you need a loan to finance or grow your business? Where do you go to obtain financing? Most business owners think of their local bank and that's often a good place to start. However, sometimes what you need doesn't fit with what the bank is able to offer. What then? Here are a few ideas. And you can always call the ACEDC office at 388-7953 to get help.


Community Capital of Vermont makes loans from $1000 to $100,000. Community Capital offers commercial financing throughout the State of Vermont that matches your short-term, seasonal, and long-term borrowing needs. They invest in business start-ups as well as existing businesses seeking to grow.


Opportunities Credit Union offers micro and small business loans from $500 to $300,000. Micro loans from $500 up to $25,000 are available for start-ups, home based businesses, and existing businesses with small needs such as for inventory, licensing, equipment, etc. Small business loans range from $25,000 to $300,000. They also work with people who have little credit history or a troubled credit history.


The Carrot Project Agriculture Fund is a partnership between The Carrot Project and the Vermont Community Loan Fund ( and is designed to meet the needs of producers and processors that serve markets in Vermont or nearby states. Loans are available from$5000 to $35,000.




Addison County Resources

If you're thinking of starting or expanding a business you can download our free business guide: 

Doing Business in Addison County: a guide to starting, expanding, or relocating your businesswhich will answer many of your questions and help you find many of the resources you need. 

Grow a Business
On Your Business?

By Steve Paddock, Vermont Small Business Development Center

The daily life of a business owner is filled with juggling the competing needs of customers, employees, vendors, marketing, financial management, and the seemingly endless demands of business management. Successful owners find ways to work hard IN their business, and to work ON their business to help ensure its growth and development. Often, the pull of daily operations can take not only time, but also the energy necessary to do the planning work that guides the long-range growth of the business.


Small Business Development Center Advisors Sarah Kearns and Steve Paddock frequently work as coaches with business owners to help them focus on the issues they face today and the questions they want to face to move their business forward. At times, the owner simply needs us to serve as a sounding board to let them try out ideas and discuss options for the future. The discipline of working with an outside advisor in a confidential atmosphere, offers many benefits.


As we prepare to move into a new year, give us a call if you would like to talk about how we can help you do some workON your business. We can be reached through ACEDC's main number, 388-7953.

Contact:  The Vermont Small Business Development Center in Addison County 802-388-7953.


Steve Paddock                   Sarah Kearns

Area Business Advisor        Business Consultant to VtSBDC



How to be BOLD

There's plenty of evidence to support the notion that entrepreneurs and business leaders benefit from being bold. If you haven't thought of it lately, here's a reminder to fuel your inner fire:






The Search for a Good Exit: An Introduction to Ownership Succession Planning 

Vermont Employee Ownership Center is offering aFREEintroduction to business ownership succession planning.

Thursday, January 23

12:00 - 3:00pm (lunch provided)

National Bank of Middlebury, 30 Main Street, Middlebury


You'll learn the basics of how to choose a path for ownership succession in your business. 

          We'll take a close look at 4 different ways of selling a business: to an outsider, to family members, to managers or to the larger group of employees.  The focus will be on stories about each path, told by owners who have been involved in the sale of businesses.  John P. Murphy, President of Atlantic Management Company, will give an overview of the mechanics of the most common ownership transition models.  Bud Reed, a former owner of Timberline Interactive, will tell the story of the sale of that business.

          Attendees will receive a copy of "An Owner's Guide to Business Succession Planning."

          Attendance is limited to business owners and key managers. 

To learn more and register, please click here.




Resources to Help Your Business
Our Jobs section continues to be one of the top-3 most popular destinations, with a consistently high number of new visitors navigating to these pages.  Member job postings are also featured in rotation on our home page. 
         If you're looking for talent, take advantage of this member benefit, and post your job opportunities to our site.

Customized Workshops for Your Business

ACEDC now offers workshops tailored to your specific business. We can work with you on long range planning (often in conjunction with the VT SBDC) or using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) for team building and communications, problem solving, and understanding how you work best, your hot buttons and blind spots.

         There is a fee for this service; contact the office if you are interested in learning more 802-388-7953.



Growing Businesses Can Find Commercial Property

As you probably know, ACEDC members can post their commercial property listings on our website, complete with photos and extended property descriptions. Businesses looking to expand can find the space they need by filtering results by property type; for lease, for sale, industrial, retail, etc. 



Some blogs & newsletters we recommend for you and your business: 


Verne's Insights (from MIT and Gazelles)


Farnam Street Brain Food


Gazelles Systems Blog


Boomtown Institute Agurban

3rd Annual Financing the Working Landscape Conference


          In November, ACEDC and ACORN partnered again to produce the 3rd Annual FWL, which featured several modifications to the 2 previous conferences. Attendees chose 1 of 2 tracks: 
Early Stage Business & Established Business

          Several past presenters returned to update their progress since they last attended the FWL conf. Again, the Entrepreneur Showcase did not disappoint! With presentations from up-and-coming local businesses: Shacksbury Cider, Maple Blues Delight, Localvore Inc., Mountain Home Farm, Golden Well Farm & Apiaries/2 Wolves Holistic Center, and Garden Arts Fresh Market. Our panel of experts and attendees provided stellar feedback and questions to presenting entrepreneurs.

Case Studies

          Lessons learned: Buzz Kuhns delighted the audience with his cautionary tale (poem) of one man's quest to make his own maple syrup. If you missed it, you can watch this video of Buzz spinning his yarn!

          Also new this year, immediately following the conference, attendees enjoyed food, beverage, and product sampling from Addison County and beyond.  

         Read more about this amazing, inspiring, entrepreneurial event on our web site and on the official FWL Facebook page!



ACEDC Annual Meeting

          Earlier this month, over 80 people attended ACEDC's Annual Meeting held at the Middlebury Inn. This year's theme: "Bold is Beautiful: Metrics & Milestones for Charting Progress in the Genuine Economy" was driven home by keynote speaker Jon D. Erickson, Professor & Interim Dean at UVM's Rubenstein School. 

Watch the video of Prof. Erickson's keynote, thanks to our friends at MCTV.


          Erickson discussed The Genuine Progress Indicator and illustrated how it is emerging as one standard methodology for including costs and benefits in our basic economic accounts.

          Erickson described how GDP (gross domestic product) ignores many positive contributions to well-being, like infrastructure, the services provided over time by durable goods, and natural resources protection, and how economists and policy-makers alike are questioning the utility of such a narrow metric of progress. He said that a sustainable economy needs more comprehensive measures that reflect the environmental and social realities of our time.

          Vermont is one of a small number of states exploring issues and challenges associated with economic and other performance metrics.  With its commitment to environmental protection and social justice, Erickson said that it makes sense that Vermont would be in the forefront of a movement to redefine progress. 



2nd Annual Addison County Companies to Watch Awards 

          One of the highlights of our Annual Meeting! We recognized 4 outstanding local businesses for their contributions to the vitality of Addison County's business community. Maple Landmark Woodcraft of Middlebury, Nathaniel Group of Vergennes, Stark Mountain Woodworking of New Haven, Middlebury Interactive Languages of Middlebury - were recognized for their contribution to the county's economic growth and for community impact. 


  co2 watch awards 2013

L-R: ACEDC Board President Darcy Tarte, Mike Rainville of Maple Landmark Woodcraft, Joel Melnick of Nathaniel Group, Louis Dupont of Stark Mountain Woodworking, Jane Swift of Middlebury Interactive Languages, ACEDC Executive Director Robin Scheu, Shannon Costello of Stark Mountain Woodworking.  


Maple Landmark Woodcraft of Middlebury, Nathaniel Group of Vergennes, Stark Mountain Woodworking of New Haven, Middlebury Interactive Languages of Middlebury - were recognized for their contribution to the county's economic growth and for community impact.

            "We are thrilled to recognize these four local businesses that are defining and redefining what innovation in Vermont truly means. These companies contribute to the vitality and health of our county in many ways, and they embody the entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and commitment to Vermont values that show why Addison County as a great place to live and work," says ACEDC Executive Director Robin Scheu.

            The awards represent an opportunity to recognize business innovation and entrepreneurial success in Addison County. She hopes the awards will not only validate recipients' success but also raise the profiles of the businesses and attract the attention of investors, potential partners, and qualified talent to the county.

          Read more about the awards and what the recipients had to say about their recognition here.

ACEDC Member News
Welcome new members! 
The ACEDC member community continues to grow, and we are delighted to welcome the following New Members:
We help our members get the exposure and recognition they deserve. We post member news stories and events on our web site, share in our newsletter, and relentlessly share the great stories from Addison County's business community via social media channels.
As always, be sure to check our web site for additional Member NewsProperty listingsJobs, and for news and events from theAddison County business community.
Spotlight on . . .  .

Efficiency Vermont

LEDs light the way this holiday season

Have a few days over the holidays to reassess your lighting? Upgrading to more efficient bulbs and fixtures can make your business look instantly better and save you substantially on energy costs. For interior spot and area lighting, consider LEDs.


Made out of clusters of light-emitting diodes, these lamps and bulbs consume even less power than CFLs for the same light output, and that light has a focused, dramatic, brilliant clarity... ideal for bar and dining table areas. They can last 30,000 hours or better (which means less ladder time changing ceiling bulbs), turn on at full power instantly, emit very little heat, are durable, available in a wide range of color temperatures, are dimmable, and have no flicker.

  efficiency vermont

LED bulbs and fixtures are more expensive at retail, but assessing cost-benefits and directing you toward good lighting design are just a few of Efficiency Vermont's specialties. Efficiency Vermont has a team devoted to lighting needs, and offer rebates to Vermont businesses for installing a wide range of new, energy-efficient equipment, including lighting fixtures.


They also provide discounts on high-performance, energy-efficient lighting products like LEDs directly to customers through participating electrical distributors. From buying new fixtures to advice on lighting redesign, to finding an EVT-approved distributor or contractor, visit or call 888-921-5990.

More News 

From the USDA Rural Development:

Applications for the 2014 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) season may now be submitted.  Please see the attached 2014 Notification of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the RBEG Program. 

            Program Priorities:  Nearly all business sectors can be assisted with the program.  However, USDA-RD is placing specific emphasis on the following business sectors in 2014.  Only initial application projects meeting one or more of these criteria can be considered for additional State Director points in this year's program.

  1. Projects that develop expand or enhance the viability of agricultural or forestry related value-added businesses.
  2. Projects that impact locally produced / locally manufactured food networks and/or distribution systems.
  3. Projects that assist in the development or expansion of cooperatively owned businesses (including healthcare).
  4. Projects that support USDA's Bioeconomy Initiative.
  5. Projects that facilitate export sales.

Please call the ACEDC office at 388-7953 if you have a potential project you'd like to discuss.

About Us
Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) is 
the resource for navigating challenges and opportunities of doing business in Addison County.


We work with businesses in all stages of growth, from pre-venture start-ups to established businesses and global corporations.


Our primary objective is to create and retain a flourishing business community that supports vibrant fiscal activity and improves the quality of life of all residents. 


ACEDC is your connector to the resources and solutions your business needs to thrive.


Thank you for your commitment to good jobs in Addison County.
Have a wonderful holiday and a prosperous New Year!



The ACEDC Team
Addison County Economic Development Corporation
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We'll help you, or we'll connect you with someone who can.

Call today 802-388-7953